Today's Labour News

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gautrainBusiness Insider SA reports that the Gautrain no longer believes it will soon need more trains to stop overcrowding during peak times.  

It also no longer thinks a big expansion to its closed rail network – which would have given residents of Soweto and Cosmo City easy access to the high-end system – could start by 2024.  It was reported last week that the Gautrain Management Agency (GMA) has cancelled tenders first issued in 2019 seeking to buy second-hand trains from abroad.  The trains were intended to prevent congestion on key lines during peak times, on the assumption that passenger numbers would continue to grow steadily.  In reality, demand for the service has fallen off a cliff, with usage down 70% in December and down 80% in January, after SA's newly-hardened lockdown was imposed.  The GMA now says it will take up to three years for demand to fully recover.  The lack of demand has also seen a change in the expected dates for Gautrain 2, a huge expansion of the service.  By mid-2020 there was still hope that construction on Gautrain 2 could start before the end of 2024, but that has been dashed.  The first phase of the expansion would have seen the network expand from Marlboro to Little Falls in Roodepoort.  A second phase would have seen it expand to Soweto, with a final reach into Boksburg, Lanseria, Irene, and Mamelodi.

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